courage is calling book review


The instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!

Ryan Holiday’s bestselling trilogy—The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego is the Enemy, and Stillness is the Key—captivated professional athletes, CEOs, politicians, and entrepreneurs and helped bring Stoicism to millions of readers. In the first book of an exciting new series on the cardinal virtues of ancient philosophy, Holiday explores the most foundational virtue of all: Courage.

Almost every religion, spiritual practice, philosophy and person grapples with fear. The most repeated phrase in the Bible is “Be not afraid.” The ancient Greeks spoke of phobos, panic and terror. It is natural to feel fear, the Stoics believed, but it cannot rule you. Courage, then, is the ability to rise above fear, to do what’s right, to do what’s needed, to do what is true. And so it rests at the heart of the works of Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, and CS Lewis, alongside temperance, justice, and wisdom.

In Courage Is Calling, Ryan Holiday breaks down the elements of fear, an expression of cowardice, courage, and bravery, and lastly, the elements of heroism, an expression of valor. Through engaging stories about historical and contemporary leaders, including Charles De Gaulle, Florence Nightingale, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Holiday shows you how to conquer fear and practice courage in your daily life.

You’ll also delve deep into the moral dilemmas and courageous acts of lesser-known. Still, equally as important, figures from ancient and modern history, such as Helvidius Priscus, a Roman Senator who stood his ground against emperor Vespasian, even in the face of death; Frank Serpico, a former New York City Police Department Detective who exposed police corruption; and Frederick Douglass and a slave named Nelly, whose fierce resistance against her captors inspired his own crusade to end slavery.

“It’s easy to be scared. Especially lately. Events can escalate at any moment. There is uncertainty. YOu could lose your job. Then your house and your car. Something could even happen with your kids.” – Ryan Holiday

In a world in which fear runs rampant—when people would rather stand on the sidelines than speak out against injustice, go along with convention than bet on themselves, and turn a blind eye to the ugly realities of modern life—we need courage more than ever. We need the courage of whistleblowers and risk-takers. We need the courage of activists and adventurers. We need the courage of writers who speak the truth—and the courage of leaders to listen.

We need you to step into the arena and fight.

Duffy’s Thoughts on Courage Is Calling

I chose to review Courage Is Calling, not because Ryan Holiday is already a best selling author, but purely because Matthew McConaughey rated it highly.

Courage Is Calling isn’t a book that you need to read cover to cover. Instead, it’s one of those books that will sit on your coffee table or hover on your nightstand for you to pick up and read when you need a little nudge, a little inspiration, or a little comfort. I love the quotes, and I love the lesser-known stories of those who have quiet courage, who have stood behind more famous world leaders, or those in the spotlight and quietly continued to push for a positive shift in the world.

An excellent secret Santa or book gift for anyone who has periods of feeling that the world sucks, that there ‘is no point fighting because we won’t win’ or that has fleeting moments of hope that the world may not be the complete dumpster fire it appears to be. Courage Is Calling will inspire you to hold on to those fleeting moments of hope and look inwardly at how your call to courage can not only make your life a little brighter but also for those around you.

We can’t all be Greta Thornburg, but we can all tune into our inner courage and take up the call to arms in our own way. An engaging and thought-provoking read and a book I will turn to again and again.

Read some of Duffy’s other recommended inspirational reads

Courage is calling available now RRP $34.99 published by Allen & Unwin